Tag: Botulinum

Pique the Geek 20091206: Botulinum Toxin (Botox)

Botox is in the news all of the time because of its use as wrinkle reducer, but it has many more uses than that, and a very long history.  The proper name is botulinum toxin, and is a neurotoxin produced by the common soil bacterium Clostridium botulinum.  This bacterium is an obligate anaerobe, meaning that it is poisoned by oxygen.

As a matter of fact, many bacteria of this genus are obligate anaerobes, and more than one are causes of human and animal disease.  In addition, they are also spore formers, which is the mechanism that they use to survive times when they are exposed to oxygen.